Thursday, April 27, 2006

"Prayer. The last refuge of a scoundrel."

gloria arroyo's eyes are shut. she is down on her knees, her arms outstretched beside her in utmost surrender.

if you think this is a scene where gloria macapagal-arroyo has, in some manner of divine intervention, admitted to all her wrongdoings, and with utmost humility and remorse, asks the nation for forgiveness — think again.

gma is simply in prayer. or a pose in the guise of a prayer.

i wonder how people like her or george bush have the audacity to call on God or claim to hear the voice of God, as if by by merely saying so their evil deeds are justified. in fact, it's when they are faced with the most damaging criticisms that people like them turn to prayer or their version of some kind of spirituality. then it is no wonder that they hear voices. as to the source of that voice, your guess is as good as mine.

the title of this post, courtesy of lisa simpson.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

setec astronomy

if you've seen the film sneakers, then you know hidden in these two words is the phrase, "too many secrets".

is it good to be at the receiving end of a confidence? no matter how trivial, how embarassing, how evil, how lewd, how shocking — should it be taken as a compliment?

i was sent a slumbook type questionnaire by a friend a few months back that i gamely answered and sent to other friends as well. one of the questions asked was, "do you trust others easily?" only one answered "yes". and to the question, "have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell?", almost everyone answered, "yes".

three incidents nearly two decades ago put a stop to my "random" confiding. the first was when i told someone from an organization i joined that i have a sister diagnosed with schizophrenia. i confided it over lunch, was a bit emotional because that day i had just had a quarrel with that sister of mine. on our way back to our tambayan, he went ahead of us then declared to everyone there, "pare, yung pamilya ni mira, may sayad". so the confidence turned into a joke. any other time maybe i would have just laughed it off, but that day, i felt kinda raw. i instantly regretted telling him.

the second time, i told a fellow staffer of our campus paper of my surreal experience when i slept over at a friend's house. at that time, it was a mystery to me if i had something going on with that particular friend. to the fellow staffer i narrated how in the middle of the night i thought i heard my friend tell me how he felt about me, thinking i was asleep. i wasn't asleep. but i don't think i was fully awake either. i was just in the borders. this tale of mine apparently reached him through another person but i'm not sure how accurate the version was. i was confronted about it, and i, being too scared to hear rejection, simply denied it. it was never brought up again. and a lesson in "who you tell your secrets to" was once again learned.

and finally, the last incident that had me thinking better of confiding to unworthy friends was when i revealed a very difficult decision i made to a close female friend. to say that she was shocked and utterly disappointed in me is an understatement. she kept crying that I had to console her. trust that friend of mine to turn my revelation into something about her. a series of "how could you do that?" and "now pa, that i'm reviewing for the bar." needless to say, i am quite positive she has disclosed this to our other friends as well. that i have not been burned on the stake surprises me.

the valuable lesson may seem to be distrust, but it really isn't. i think it is merely caution. i still confide to friends but it has become quite rare. let me be the receiver instead. and i may have honed this well judging from the way mere acquaintances have decided to confide in me things they'd rather not tell their own friends. as for my friends, well, sometimes what they tell me border on the "whoa. too much info. we have to draw the line somewhere." (but too late i am now scarred for life) — i just take those as tokens of trust.

for now my partner is my confidant. for most part. i think we are each other's.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

in memoriam

he drank his coffee black. no sugar. "bakla lang ang nag-aasukal", he used to say.

he could exist on cheese and crackers alone, and surely wouldn't mind if he could have a glass of wine with it. his ways seem very european, so cultured. only much later would we learn that it was because he had stayed there for more than a decade.

he would invite us to malate but instead of hanging out in one of the numerous bars, we would be in a corner store where beer is sold cheap. once, after a few rounds we passed by a videoke bar and decided to sing a couple of tunes. i've never seen him sing with so much abandon (though he was not really singing. it was more like just mouthing "watermelon. watermelon.") especially at a place where you could easily get killed if you sang an unsatisfactory version of "My Way".

his pirated cd and dvd collection could rival any film buff's. i doubt if he listened to anything but classical music. although he would gamely watch a rock concert (whether free or for a cause) as long as there's beer and good company and smoking allowed.

he knew so many people and the ease with which he could adapt to whoever he was talking to - from peasant to executive or high profile personality - was quite amazing.

he talked little of his family or their influence, and their wealth (which he had turned his back on, like an heiress to an unwanted fortune). and for our part, we never asked. for he offered a friendship that required none of that. it didn't matter who you are, where you came from, how much money you made (or didn't).

it's been a little more than a year since he succumbed to cancer. we miss him a lot and are reminded of him in several occasions - what he would say if he were with us today, in this gma*-infested times. my guess is, it would be a succinct, "'tangna nya".

sonny evangelista
dec 2, 1941 - april 10, 2005

*gloria macapagal-arroyo, cheat executive of the philippines

Monday, April 24, 2006

time for a cool change

i just discovered that somebody i know decided to choose the same template for the blog she just recently created. and so i said, ok that's my cue! not that i mind that she picked the same motif. it's really not personal. it's just that i'm all for individuality. which is funny if not outright stupid because this is a free blogs site with, what, 31 templates to choose from? yes, what are the odds somebody out of the hundreds (or most likely thousands) of users would opt for the same template? silly me.

Monday, April 17, 2006

oops we did it again

stayed at a hotel during the lenten break. but at least we kept it at an overnight stay. the truth is, for some reason our favored destinations were fully booked. we took it as a reassurance that they truly are favored destinations. not just ours nga lang. so away from the beach once again.

the only difference this time is that our youngest, kaya, decided to improve her swimming skills. and improve she did (i turn on my proud mama voice from this point) - before we went home she had learned how to float on her back using a kickboard. she would hold it on top of her belly like a pillow and just float away. then she decided she wanted more mobility so she mustered the arm floats. now she can keep afloat and see where she's going or what or who she could bump into. we're so thrilled watching her.

it reminds me of marlee, our eldest who when she was around four years old, after watching lilo and stitch didn't want to be confined to a floater. that's when she spent hours imitating lilo swim under water. she was a success. up till now every chance she gets she enjoys the water (as the pool depth would allow her).

what can i say? i've got water babies.

summer's not over and hopefully they'll get more chances to free their innner mermaids.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

caution: i'm pms

i see a curly strand of hair sticking to the bar of soap and instantly, i fume. in my mind i picture myself throwing that bar of soap to the owner of that curly hair. some of the most scathing remarks come to my mind that i would hurl to that curly-haired fellow while explaining why he should have the decency to remove unwanted hairs clinging to a communal soap. i think of all his habits that annoy me and suddenly i feel like i've had it, it's time to call it quits.

a few seconds pass as i clutch the soap dish, ready to be aimed at Curlylocks. i sigh, put the soap dish back then patiently remove curly top's hair off the soap. all thoughts of an impending break-up vaporize.

in a week's time i will have my menstrual period. unquestionably, i am pre-menstrual.

for the unenlightened, pms or pre-menstrual syndrome is the time of month when females are best kept happy, however inhumanly possible. which means staying out of their way but letting them know they are truly loved in every way, letting them indulge in their cravings but heaven forbid telling them they seem to be getting a wee bit more plump, it's giving them a chance to take a break by just keeping the place clean even for a few minutes or simply volunteering to wash the dishes for a change.

should the unfortunate event arise that you have to let her know you have a different opinion from hers, brace yourself. and be absolutely sure of the number of occasions you forgot to put down the toilet seat. it's sure to come up. among other misdeeds. it's going to be a long haul ahead, so best to think twice about that contrary opinion. or best still, if you could manage it, just shut up.

asking too much you'd (dare) say? admittedly, i'd agree. perhaps even in a perfect world that would be too much to ask. then a little understanding may be the key. for myself, if i am easily irritated than usual, then i send warning to the object of my annoyance - and he then relays this to the offspring and, they try to do their best. most times, they fail, i fail. but at least, with understanding, the quick temper is tempered.

i am nowhere near menopausal (a different ball game altogether), i will be pms-ing for quite some time still. i wonder if one day i can find a way to reverse its manifestations. instead of anger, i will find myself laughing more easily, though hopefully not hysterically.

and when that stray strand of curly hair finds itself trapped on the bar of soap, i will simply smile as i free it. anyway, the way they keep getting stuck in almost every place in the house - it may be the last of its kind.

for those who'd like to take handling pms more seriously, here are some sites to chew on:
alternative pms remedies
medically speaking 1
medically speaking 2
a little bloody quiz

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a birthday wish

i was reading through news articles in when i saw one with this title:

Estrada's birthday wish for Arroyo: Resign.

awww. how sweet.

if somebody wished that for me, i'd actually do it. unfortunately i am not the (pseudo) president. and it's not my birthday.

but i'd certainly like some cake today.

late warning (mercury in retro in retro)

i don't know when i started the habit of looking at a calendar every new year to see on what day the following occasions would fall: (1) my birthday; (2) christmas; (3) new year; (4) my crush's birthday (this was like years ago. think college days) and (5) since i have my own family- their birthdays.

then in the past few years, i started checking out not just these occasions, but a particular occurrence which happens three times every year, for a period of three weeks.

mercury retrograde.

it has a schedule. can you believe it? the first for this year has just passed and looking back, i'm glad our computer survived it. although our monitor did turn yellow for a day or two. it's quite benign compared to previous retrogrades where the computer simply conked out on us.

indeed, keeping attuned to these cosmic occurrences help me understand that there certainly are things that are beyond us. aside from the fact that it gives me and others like me who are "in the know" perfect excuses for our laziness.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

happy anniversary!

as pcij's institutional blog celebrates its first anniversary today, i realized that i missed mine over two month's ago. it is so embarrassing that my blog's first anniversary is marked by, hehe, inactivity. almost a year of that, actually.

i don't know why. it's like i have been sucked into a time-space-warp that took me away from this blog for almost a year. speaking of time-space-warps, did you know that shaider has reinvented himself minus annie his sidekick and the memorable monster supplying aliens who coined the phrase, "time space warp, ngayon din!"? i can't say i like the makeover. he looks more like the front of a car now. well, more on that some other time (i actually have an intention to talk about that?).

so its been more than a year and another one ahead. great. the presssurrrre.

i think i will write more this time. unless another time-space-warp beckons.